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1938 Gishler Associates, Incorporated present H. KATHERINE SMITH The Outstanding Blind Personality In America To-day! Radio Artist, Blind Newspaper Correspondent and Feature Columnist World Traveler Lecturer — Author Vassar Graduate Phi Beta Kappa Figure H. KATHERINE SMITH BEGAN LIFE IN A WORLD OF DARKNESS—FACED IT WITH DETERMINATION AND CONQUERED IT WITH A SMILE. 1938-1939 — SECOND ANNUAL TOUR Under direction of Gishler Associates Incorporated Hotel Utica Utica, N. Y. Speaker and Entertainment Management REPRINT from BUFFALO COURIER-EXPRESS, JANUARY, 22, 1937 Ability As Radio Speaker Is Shown by Blind Writer Interview Over WGR Follows Dramatization Of Her Career On Kate Smith's Program The tables were turned on H. Katherine Smith last evening. The young woman who has interviewed more than 1,000 persons for The Courier-Express during the last few years, was herself the subject of an interview. In the course of twelve minutes of questions and answers over Station WGR, her debut on the air, Miss Smith revealed the poise and assurance of a veteran broadcaster, and proved herself to be the possessor of a beautiful and natural radio voice and ready wit in answer to unrehearsed questions. Radio station officials marveled at her absolute lack of mike fright, and at the exhibit of broadcast talents which, added to her other accomplishments — newspaper writing, lecturing, traveling and teaching—show Miss Smith to be a truly remarkable woman. Batavia, New York ROTARY CLUB Our club had the pleasure of listening to this young woman on her travels in South America and we not only drew a very large house, but everyone seems to be very much pleased. Her talk is very humorous as well as instructive and as Chairman of Rotary program, I am glad to recommend her to any service club as a noonday speaker. JOHN B. GREELEY, President Blind Since Birth Blind since birth, H. Katherine Smith has won her way to a position in journalism which may well be envied by many of her collegues who are without physical handicap. She asks no odds on account of her blindness, but competes in her profession with men and women who see. The local radio interview last evening in which she answered questions about her career, asked by W. E. J. Martin, Courier-Express Sunday editor, followed immediately after the Kate Smith Bandwagon Program during which the career of H. Katherine Smith was dramatized for the radio audience over a coast-to-coast network. She was one of three persons nominated for this honor by a committee which selects each week three persons who have distinguished themselves by personal heroism. Listeners will cast votes for their favorite among the three, the winner to receive a prize of $500, the other two prizes of $100 each, during the broadcast of this program next Thursday evening. The other two nominees, incidents in whose lives were portrayed over the radio during the Bandwagon program last evening were Dorothy Colvin, heroine of an Alabama cyclone, and Arthur Robinson of Rochester, who, despite internal injuries and broken bones, during a recent airplane crash in California, trudged down four miles of mountainside during a snowstorm to find help for the others injured in the wreck. H. Katherine Smith was the calmest person in the tiny broadcast room, before her interview, as she and her associates listened to the short and dramatic portrayal of her life as it came through the receiving set in the studio. Those with her were visibly moved as the actors recounted the incidents in the beginning of the blind girl's life, her brave girlhood, her valiant efforts to stand on her own feet and make her own way in a world of people who see. But Miss Smith showed no sign of emotion. The actors of the radio story played their parts with a sob in their throats but Miss Smith listened as earnestly, as quietly and as bravely as she has lived her life. Her only comment when it was finished was to say that her father's name had been not George but Marcus. Graduated By Vassar In the course of the radio actors' biographical sketch of H. Katherine Smith's career it was told that she lived a normal childhood, played with other children even to roller skating and climbing trees, kept up with her school grades, attended Vassar College and emerged with a degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key, and got her present newspaper job five days after graduation. In her work she was interviewed more than 1,000 persons, has traveled thousands of miles in the United States and South America In preparation for her trip to South America recently, concerning which she has written many interesting columns in The Courier-Express, Miss Smith decided she had better learn Spanish and French. Once started, she acquired a working knowledge of these languages so fast as to astound her teachers. The latter were not aware, however, that she was playing a trick on them. Once she had a groundwork in Spanish and French, she tuned in her short wave radio to foreign stations and kept herself hearing nothing but those two foreign tongues for months. The greatest accomplishment of her career has been the teaching of a youth who is deaf, dumb and blind, to read Braille. That feat, in the words of the editor of The Courier-Express, as quoted in the broadcast, was greater than Anne Sullivan's teaching of Helen Keller, for Miss Sullivan could see, Miss Smith cannot. In the course of her own interview which followed the Bandwagon program, Miss Smith said the greatest need of the physically handicapped is the co-operation of the more privileged public. Every one of us is incomplete, said Miss Smith, every one, even those who have no physical or mental disabilities. But the most obviously handicapped are those without sight, or voice or hearing; the rest of us, who are equipped to fight the battles of the world owe it to these others to help them find themselves. This should be done, not by regimentation of the unfortunates, but by individual attention to each individual case. For each of us is different, one from another. Those who are thus helped, if they have self-respect, will more than return the world's help by being themselves useful in the world. Limited Number Of Dates Now Available Miss Smith is an exceptionally busy young lady. Her radio broadcast, twice weekly over the Columbia Network station, WKBW Buffalo, require much preparation. The Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo's largest morning newspaper, have employed Miss Smith for the last ten years as a featured columnist, during which time she has interview the Rossevelt family, Zimbalist, Marion Anderson, Hugh Walpole, and many other celebreties. Her management asks your co-operation in bringing about early bookings, so that they may be adjusted into her already heavy schedule. Her Own Column! Reprint BUFFALO SUNDAY COURIER-EXPRESS, APRIL 10, 1938 A Good Listener By H. KATHERINE SMITH Blind Columnist Chats With President Roosevelt Chatting with President Roosevelt about a dagger and a sewer, receiving a red rose from the hand of Henry A. Wallace, secretary of agriculture; meeting Jim Farley and nationally-read newspapermen, listening to boos and cheers in the hall of Congress, and flying from Buffalo to Washington in less than three hours—those are a few of the thrills that have crammed the last few days. The President's press conference reminded me of the Vassar College mail rush. With some 65 newspapermen and three newspaper women, I dashed into the President's office and stood at attention. We stood during the entire conference, not necessarily to show respect to the Chief executive, but because chairs are not provided. Perhaps President Roosevelt realizes that if newspaper writers once sit down and get into conversation, they're extremely hard to move. F. D. R. Asks About Buffalo How's everything in Buffalo? Mr Roosevelt asked me as I approached his desk at the close of the conference. Shades of Sherlock Holmes! How in the world — suddenly I understood. He knew James F. Doyle, who accompanied me. Your new sewage disposal plant's nearly ready for action, isn't it? said the President as we shook hands. As Governor of New York State, I started the move to prevent pollution of rivers and lakes with sewage. Then you have sort of a paternal interest in our sewer, I suggested. It was all so friendly, I forgot for the moment I was talking to the President of the United States. Mr. Roosevelt admitted the paternal interest and showed me the scabbard of an Oriental daggar he had just received from the Sultan of Muscat, a recent White House guest. The President described to me its exquisite ornamentation of wrought gold. He declined to unsheath the weapon, saying: It's too sharp to touch. I speak from experience. How Merry-Go-Round Began At the conference, I met Postmaster General Jim Farley and half a dozen columnists whose names are by-words in households from coast to coast. Among them was Bob Allen who, with Drew Pearson, turns out The Washington Merry-Go-Round. Here's his story of how that column got its start. The co-columnists published a book, Washington Merry-Go-Round. The public took the book to its bosom, but it caused its author's dismissal from their respective newspapers. The dismisals were attended with plenty of publicity, which was noticed by a syndicate and prompted an offer. Having nothing else to do, the two young men snapped it up. Each writes half a column daily, and they put the halves together. They never argue about whose story should be the lead or about basic ideas, but frequently differ in their estimate of persons. Loses Discussion With Wallace I knew that any information I might acquire from Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace would be brand new to me, for I am completely ignorant on the subject of farming or even raising potted geraniums, and I scarcely dare mention crop reduction. From Mr. Wallace, I learned that actually more of Uncle Sam's money found its way into farmer's hands in the period following the war than now, although it reached them indirectly. At that time, an American farmer was raising wheat for foreign consumption, and foreigners paid for it with money borrowed here. As you know, they haven't got around to paying it. That means it went into the farmer's pocket, and out of Uncle Sam's. I tried to interest Secretary Wallace in arranging a limitation program to restore fertility to the imagination of sterile writers. What we need is a chance to produce less copy and do more thinking and reading, I explained to him. But when we stop writing, our three squares cease to be a daily occurrence. Mr. Wallace was adamant. He told me he was an editorial writer for twenty years, and that experience proved to him, beyond all doubt, that the more copy a writer turns out, the faster ideas come to him. When we both realized I was worsted in the discussion, Mr. Wallace gave me as lovely a red rose as I've ever owned. It does credit to the greenhouses of the United States department of agriculture where its was raised. Reprint The New York Times, Tuesday, May 3, 1938 BLIND ARE HONORED AT 'TRIBUTE DINNER' Medals for Achievement Go to Four Men and a Woman at Brooklyn Function ALL IN COMPETITIVE WORK Two are Musicians, One Is Professor. One in Business— Girl a News Writer A tribute dinner to the blind, believed to be the first event of the kind in this city, was held last night at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn. Awards of bronze medals were presented to four men and one women who cannot see, in token of their outstanding achievement. The prize winners are persons engaged in activities, other than the familiar handicrafts for the blind, in competition with normal men and women. Two musicians, a professor of history, an operator of a trucking business and a newspaper woman were those honored. Miss H. Katherine Smith of Buffalo, a feature writer on The Buffalo Courter-Express, was the woman selected by the committee of awards. Miss Smith, who is a graduate of Vassar with Phi Beta Kappa honors, has been blind since childhood. 'A Woman of Achievement' It may be said of H. Katherine Smith that she has been flying blind all of her life and has always reached the goal she sought. By any standards, the accomplishments of this attractive young woman would be remarkable. Her achievements are near to unbelievable when it is realized that she has been blind since shortly after birth. Although she has never been reported extraordinary she now writes a special column for Buffalo (N. Y.) Courier-Express, entitled A Good Listener. Graduating from Wilkes-Barre Institute Miss Smith went to Vassar College where she studied journalism, and where she was awarded Phi Beta Kappa honors for her brilliant scholarship. Following graduation from Vassar, Miss Smith spent nine years reporting for the Buffalo Courier-Express, during which time she interviewed more than 1,500 people, including such celebrities as Zimbalist, Marion Anderson, Hugh Walpole, James Stephens, and others equally well known, for her Men You Ought To Know and Women of Achievement articles. In 1936 she determined to open up a new field for herself. That field was the vast and glamorous continent of South America. As soon as she had convinced her editors that she could successfully cover such an assignment in spite of the difficulties of travel and language she immediately took up the study of Spanish with native South Americans who lived in Buffalo. With a short wave radio set she listened in to all the South American and Spanish stations which she could pick up and for several months listened almost exclusively to Spanish. Having spoken French since childhood it was possible to acquire quickly a working knowledge of Spanish. With her indispensable typewriter and a few books in braille H. Katherine Smith set out for the Southern Republics in the spring of 1936. With her ready and invaluable gift for making friends she was able during her extensive tour to meet personally the Presidents of the Republics, their wives and daughters, students, bull fighters, indians in the Ecuadorian jungle, and educators. She spoke to them all, but more important she listened attentively to them and asked those questions which he keen journalistic imagination prompted her to ask. The articles which she sent with regularity to the paper made the editors sit up and take new notice of her. Shortly after her return to the United States in the autumn her life story was dramatized on a coast-to-coast radio broadcast, and in recognition of her distinguished achievements she was awarded a $500 prize by the sponsors of the program. When invited to address the conference of Club Presidents in Chicago she traveled by air without an escort and is now enthusiastic about flying. Her appearance before the conference was highly successful, resulting in many re-requests for her to address organizations in the Chicago area Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania ROTARY CLUB I have listened to a great many public speakers, but I never heard such a human presentation of South American life as you gave. I feel that if more people heard your presentation of it, it would be a great force in bringing about better understanding between the Americas. I look forward to the pleasure of hearing you again sometime. LOUIS W. LEVITSKY, President Buffalo, New York State Teachers College I want to add to the opinions of others my personal regard for your address. In addition to the statement made in an earlier letter of yours that your talk is of special interest to students, I would add that the same talk would be of equal interest to any group, and I would be glad to have you use my name as a reference in the event you desire it in connection with any other engagements. IRVING C. PERKINS, Chairman, Speakers Committee AIR LINE TRAVEL Miss H. Katherine Smith finds air travel in keeping with the rapidity of her daily routine. For that reason, she includes the American Air Lines as a contributing factor to her daily progress in the lecture field. Please consider air schedules and rail connections when sending inquiries. Exclusive Management GISHLER ASSOCIATES Incorporated Hotel Utica Utica, N. Y.
|Title||H. Katherine Smith: the outstanding blind personality in America today!|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Smith, H Katherine|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|